Nassau Democratic lawmakers are calling on the GOP-led legislature to hold hearings because a key figure in the controversy that prompted the resignation of Police Commissioner Thomas Dale had ties to the campaign of Republican County Executive Edward Mangano.
Former Nassau Police Sgt. Sal Mistretta, who handed a civil subpoena to Randy White of Roosevelt while he was in police custody on an unrelated warrant, contributed $600 to Mangano's re-election campaign, documents provided by the Democrats show. Mistretta is also listed as an organizer of an Oct. 28 campaign fundraiser for Mangano at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. Dale resigned after revelations that he involved himself in a politically charged elections case by ordering White's arrest.
"A clear connection exists between Mistretta and Mangano," said Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport). "We don't know how deep it's rooted, which is why we need to hold hearings."
Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) said hearings are unnecessary.
"To date, the district attorney [Kathleen Rice] has found no criminality in this matter," Gonsalves said. Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin said Rice's investigation cleared Mangano and his staff of any wrongdoing.
The controversy centers around White, who had testified in early October that former Freeport Mayor Andrew Hardwick, who was attempting to wage a third-party bid for county executive, had illegally paid him for each signature he had collected.
Dale later ordered White's arrest on an unrelated warrant. While in police custody, Mistretta handed White a subpoena requiring him to return to court. Rice is continuing to investigate the subpoena.
Mistretta, who retired in November, has said he did not know he was delivering a subpoena to White. Mistretta declined to comment Friday, referring questions to his attorney, Rob La Reddola, who did not return a call.
Mistretta has said he was given the subpoena by Brandon Irizarry, who worked for the Hardwick campaign. Irizarry, who is also listed as an organizer of the Crest Hollow fundraiser, referred questions to his attorney, Dennis Lemke, who did not return a call for comment.